City Directories and History: 1917 – Harry Friedheim, 1936 – Frederick A. Dunlap, 1963 – John B. Reid
MARION STREET DEVELOPMENT- As Rock Hill experienced a period of very rapid growth, developers emerged who provided building lots and housing stock for the new residents. Beginning in the 1890s, the Rock Hill Land and Town Site Company developed the large Oakland section to the north of downtown. In 1906, James Spratt White, Jr. opened a new residential section known as Woodland Park, including a number of residential lots along Saluda Street and several side streets, including two lots on each side at the eastern end of Marion Street. Woodland Park had the first cement sidewalks in Rock Hill and included several small parks, including the existing park at the corner of Saluda, Marion, and Center Streets. J. S. White was quite a salesman, and he held public auctions for the sale of lots. On May 30, 1906, an initial auction was held to open Woodland Park. This resulted in the sale of twenty-two lots and seven houses, with an additional sixteen lots being sold shortly thereafter. Later sections of Woodland Park were developed in 1909 and 1912, and development continued into the 1940′s.
At the time, of the development of Woodland Park, the rest of the Marion Street area was owned by Mrs. D. A. Johnston and the J. B. Johnson family. Beginning in 1910, the remainder of Marion Street was developed by Dr. J. B. Johnson. The street was extended to the west and eventually met with Hampton Street. Dr. Johnson named the street for his oldest daughter, Marion. Lots on Marion Street sold rapidly, and by 1912, a picture appeared in the Chamber of Commerce brochure showing a number of new houses on a treeless Marion Street.
Marion Street provided housing for the growing middle class in Rock Hill. It was within walking distance of the downtown area, which at that time housed almost all the businesses and services for the city. The early residents of Marion Street included doctors, a farmer, merchants, the founder of the Rock Hill Lumber Company, textile superintendents, bankers, a newspaper editor, and investors in many of the developing business and industrial corporations. Several architectural styles are evident in the neighborhood. The earlier houses were mostly adaptations of the Classical revival Style. By 1915, several houses showed a mixture of Classical Revival and the emerging Bungalow/Craftsman style. By 1920, many houses were in the Bungalow style, especially on some of the streets surrounding Marion, such as Center Street.
Most of Marion Street and properties on Johnston Street and Center Street are included in the Marion Street Area Historic District, listed in the national Register of Historic Places. [Article written and contributed to R&R by Mr. Paul Gettys]
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